Halal dietary options for Muslim families in the West pose some challenges, especially in some remote areas.
In Canada’s Fredericton district the situation is not much different.
This is what Asad Khan, and his wife Sadia Khan, discovered when they moved to the capital of the Canadian Atlantic province of New Brunswick.
“Somehow, we were struggling to get the halal food,” Asad Khan told Telegraph Journal.
Instead of making it a problem, they saw it an opportunity for a new business for the family. The Pakistani couple launched a halal food business called Simply Fresh halal meals.
As Sadia prepares homemade halal meals, they managed to establish a customer base through word of mouth and promotion on social media websites.
After the success of their halal meals business, they’ve now launched an online halal grocery service which they hope will expand beyond Fredericton, throughout New Brunswick and even further in the coming years.
“It is not only about the Muslim community,” Asad said. “We are tapping the Asian community.”
The couple hope to expand in the future, offer local jobs and pay back to the Fredericton community.
“I want to be part of this business community.”
For Nichola Taylor, a British Muslim convert who lives in Fredericton with her family, finding halal food alternatives is an ongoing challenge.
“There isn’t a wide range of halal food options in Fredericton. We have one local farmer who offers halal meat and limited choices in some of the big supermarkets,” she told AboutIslam.
Therefore, she consider the Asad Khan family business as a welcome addition to the city.
“So this is a welcome addition and adds more variety for Muslims living in Fredericton. I haven’t personally ordered anything from them yet, but will look to do so in the future,” Taylor added.
The halal term is commonly used for meat, but it’s also applied to other food products, cosmetics, personal care products, and pharmaceuticals which mustn’t be derived from non-halal sources like pork.
Halal also applies to any other consumed and edible materials which mustn’t be harmful to human health. For example, Islam considers wines, alcoholic beverages, cigarettes, E-cigs, hookah and other unhealthy things to be non-halal.
According to the Fredericton Islamic Association (FIA), there are over 50 Muslim families in Fredericton and surrounding areas. There is also, on average, a transient population of about 300-400 Muslim students.